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2004 PT 2.4L HO, overheating issues, help?

 
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Old 26 Sep 2014, 04:28 pm
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Default 2004 PT 2.4L HO, overheating issues, help?

Have a 2004 PT 2.4L High Output turbo, 135k miles, that is running hot & we can't seem to narrow down why. We've replaced the thermostat, the radiator cap, the water pump (which looked fine), and still... go over 50 and it starts to creep up.

It's running FINE, smooth, accelerates great. The gauge has always sat solidly at the halfway mark until the past 2 weeks. Now, it starts to creep up to the 2/3 mark but doesn't go over if we keep the speed to 70 or so. If we stay under 45-50 it barely creeps at all (just enough to notice it). Also creeps up a little while sitting at a light. If we turn the heat/fan on it drops back down.

Wondering if there's any known issues, or if someone has had this issue & can give a clue of what to check next?

Last edited by PamOh; 10 Oct 2014 at 03:43 pm. Reason: adding info
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Old 26 Sep 2014, 04:39 pm
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Default Re: 2004 PT 2.4L HO, overheating issues, help?

Check the both low & high speed are working on the radiator fan.

New here....and a question
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Old 26 Sep 2014, 07:25 pm
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Default Re: 2004 PT 2.4L HO, overheating issues, help?

How long have you had your PT Cruiser and what type of coolant do you have in your radiator?
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Old 27 Sep 2014, 07:48 am
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Default Re: 2004 PT 2.4L HO, overheating issues, help?

We've had the PT just over 3 years, and we had whatever coolant was in there originally when we bought it used with 43k on it (now has 135k, we drive a LOT). Part of our trouble-shooting has involved putting a "flush" treatment in, then draining it and refilling with "regular" coolant from AutoZone (husband's answer, sorry). I saw on here that we should put some special type in? Issue started before replacing coolant, nothing has changed re: how it's running hot, does the same thing as before we changed it.
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Old 27 Sep 2014, 08:20 am
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Default Re: 2004 PT 2.4L HO, overheating issues, help?

There is lots oh hysteria on this forum about coolant. If you maintain it properly, any coolant will be fine; In my opinion.

Do as Lion suggested and test the fan relays to ensure the fan is operating on both speeds.

After it is hot and overheating, if you have a temperature sensing gun, you can 'look' for cold areas on the rad indicating a potential blockage.
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Old 27 Sep 2014, 11:26 am
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Default Re: 2004 PT 2.4L HO, overheating issues, help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by myckee View Post
There is lots oh hysteria on this forum about coolant. If you maintain it properly, any coolant will be fine; In my opinion.

Do as Lion suggested and test the fan relays to ensure the fan is operating on both speeds.

After it is hot and overheating, if you have a temperature sensing gun, you can 'look' for cold areas on the rad indicating a potential blockage.

The reason I asked about the coolant is if the original HOAT coolant that is put into the PT Cruisers and most regular coolant that you get from an auto parts store got mixed together that was my concern. I still use only HOAT coolant in my PT Cruisers.
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Old 27 Sep 2014, 11:33 am
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Default Re: 2004 PT 2.4L HO, overheating issues, help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by myckee View Post
There is lots oh hysteria on this forum about coolant. If you maintain it properly, any coolant will be fine; In my opinion.

Do as Lion suggested and test the fan relays to ensure the fan is operating on both speeds.

After it is hot and overheating, if you have a temperature sensing gun, you can 'look' for cold areas on the rad indicating a potential blockage.

I would check the radiator flow to see if some of the cores are blocked and not cooling the engine fast enough mostly at high speeds. Having a potential head gasket problem is very expensive if the overheating problem is not solved right away.
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Old 27 Sep 2014, 05:41 pm
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Default Re: 2004 PT 2.4L HO, overheating issues, help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PamOh View Post
Have a 2004 PT 2.4L High Output turbo that is running hot & we can't seem to narrow down why. We've replaced the thermostat, the radiator cap, the water pump (which looked fine), and still... go over 50 and it starts to creep up.

This would be normal optimal circulation verses air flow none fan assisted is beteen 40- 55mph relating engine speed

It's running FINE, smooth, accelerates great. The gauge has always sat solidly at the halfway mark until the past 2 weeks. Now, it starts to creep up to the 2/3 mark but doesn't go over if we keep the speed to 70 or so. If we stay under 45-50 it barely creeps at all (just enough to notice it). Also creeps up a little while sitting at a light. If we turn the heat/fan on it drops back down.

No gauge ever sits "solidly" at or in the center of the middle mark. You just are not aware of the slight changes because seldom do people monitor the gauge that closely. I not normal so I catch these things!

Wondering if there's any known issues, or if someone has had this issue & can give a clue of what to check next?
You are not giving enough information about the PT. Mileage is needed. Also was there any time in which anybody had a time that the temperature gauge climbed to the 3/4 if even for a moment before the heating issue?

Based on your limited information you posted:

If you did not have material like rust or badly discolored coolant during your replacement of parts or coolant replacement it is possible you may have an exhaust system flow restriction or cooling system sealing problem?

If you turn the defroster position on does this change how your temperature gauge reacts.

Because you say the temperature drops at idle when you rotate the heat that is a air circulation issue in the engine compartment, but it also means that the EGT's may be raising do you some flow restrictions in the exhaust or raise in coolant temperature because of combustion gases entering the cooling system ?

I would recommend at this point to save time and money guessing is to first do a block test to insure that you do not have a head gasket problem. Do not be quick to rule this out with more guessing or speculation.

You can rent these testers at many of the better auto parts chain stores like Auto Zone or O-Riellys.

If you pass that test than I can give some other advise on where and how to look for your heating coolant issue. Other wise good luck with the other suggestions.
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Old 01 Oct 2014, 05:28 pm
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Default Re: 2004 PT 2.4L HO, overheating issues, help?

Okay, I'll try to answer all of your questions.

It has 134,000 miles on it. The alarm has never gone off before for overheating.

Whenever I've been looking at it, the gauge has sat pretty solidly at 3 o'clock. (Agreed, I wasn't watching it like a hawk like I am now, but I also am not oblivious so I do look at them.)

The coolant was slightly discolored when it was drained and replaced. No rust or particles noted.

Yes, the gauge drops cooler when we turn the defrost on heat/high.

I wouldn't suspect exhaust restriction since there is no noticeable change in the smoothness of the engine - no chug or missing at idle. The engine runs very smoothly at all speeds and during acceleration. (What is EGT?)

The garage replaced the thermostat again, in case we got a bad one, and it did fine on several short trips yesterday. Today, I drove to work (38 miles on freeway) and it started nudging up again about halfway to work, right about where we had the alarm go off last week. I slowed down, and it dropped a little but stayed around 2:30.

It is floating up over 3 o'clock, (for convenience's sake I'll call the next mark on the gauge 2 o'clock) going between 2 and 3 o'clock.

First indication was alarm went off, we were doing 78-80 at the time, so it was way up to hot. Slowed way down, took exit within a mile, another 1/2 mile to gas station. Checked coolant, didn't see any in the overflow so added some but it just overflowed. Had it towed home, replaced thermostat and it seemed to help but only for a day or so... just like now with the garage replacing the thermostat.

Is there anything that would make it eat thermostats?

I'll tell my husband about doing the block test, will have to ask the garage what they did since they hadn't put a bill together yet this morning.
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Old 01 Oct 2014, 06:00 pm
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Default Re: 2004 PT 2.4L HO, overheating issues, help?

The garage most likely did not do a block test or you would have been charged for it.

I doubt you are "eating" thermostats. Rarely a defective on , replace once even more rare to get another defective thermostat.

What does discolored coolant mean to you. If it were not comparing it to the current coolant being run that you may be describing the normal color?

I still highly recommend doing a block test and rule out head or head gasket issue.
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